Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lemon-Chicken Soup with Orzo

This month my goal was to make a different soup every weekend, freeze half of it, and enjoy while the weather got colder. While I was growing up, my mom would make a dozen different kinds of soup as it started to get colder and freeze them. We ate homemade soup all winter and all we had to do was take a container out of the freezer. I thought that since neither my husband nor I are at home as much this winter, we could get our own soup bank started.

We made chili the last weekend of September and it was glorious to sit under a blanket on the couch, cuddle up with the husband, and warm up with some chili. Of course, this past weekend was really too warm to truly enjoy soup, but at least the recipe I picked was a nice light chicken soup.

This soup starts with making your own chicken stock. After making my own, I will never go back to store-bought stock. It is ridiculously easy and ridiculously delicious. Plus, I like to manage the amount of sodium I'm taking in, so making my own stock is the way to go!

Lemon-Chicken Soup with Orzo
adapted from Cooking Light

Stock Ingredients:
1 4lb whole chicken
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
6 garlic cloves, crushed
4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
6 cups water

1. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Place chicken in a large Dutch oven. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

2. Remove chicken from pan, place aside to cool for about 15 minutes. Discard the skin. Remove meat from the bones, discarding the bones. Chop (or shred with your fingers) chicken into bite-sized pieces. Place meat into a covered container and refrigerate.

3. Strain broth mixture through a sieve into a large bowl. Discard the solids. Cool broth to room temperature. Cover and chill for 8-24 hours (allowing the fat to rise to the surface and solidify). Skim fat from surface and discard.

Lemon-Chicken Soup Ingredients
1 ⅓ cups chopped carrot
1 ¼ cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons salt
8 oz uncooked orzo
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 ½ teaspoons grated lemon rind
¼ cup fresh lemon juice

4. Add water to broth to equal 9 cups, place broth mixture in a large Dutch oven. Add the carrot, onion, celery and salt to pan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the chicken meat and simmer for about 3 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, cook the orzo according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add the pasta to the pan with the chicken and broth mixture. Stir in parsley, lemon rind and lemon juice.

1 comment:

  1. I'm thrilled that you make your own stock now! It's really worth it. I saw an Alton Brown epidode recently when he let the stock go for hours and hours and the cartilage broke down and made it almost thick. If I ever have that much time in my hands I'm going to try it. And i love your idea for the soup bank. I usually make a big batch, but then we're sick of it by the time we eat it up.